How Love Letters from the 1600s help me write my Vampire, Count Gräfen

f0305b95-3cd8-4ee4-838d-d36bbc6f89b5.jpgAbove is a love letter from Philip Williams to Elizabeth Nalson circa 1680. It’s a fine example of Renaissance correspondence and a perfect research document for my writing of The Fergus She #2.

Master of Madhouse Print BookCover Gothic Vampire Series Cowtan
In Master of Madhouse, Count Gräfen is away from Rachel, whom he torments and desires to possess. Rachel, eludes him as best she can, but while prisoner in his madhouse, escaping the Count for long will not be a possibility.
I love taking the Count and making him the “lover”, and then switching him to the “villain”, just keep Rachel on her toes.
His letter, will be from the “lover”. And their reunion? The “Villain”!

Master of Madhouse
Novel Excerpt

When next I woke, the light coming in my window was not as bright. I slowly became aware of the envelope clutched in my sweaty palm. Frustrated at my snail’s pace, I scratched at the wax with my fingernail, trying to break the seal. It was thick, and like Gräfen, not so easy to peel away. I used my teeth to free the Count’s message.

Chewing on the wax bits, I slipped the letter from its case. Bold, black handwriting swirled across the paper with long daring strokes and dramatic dots and crosses. His writing was beautiful and precise, just like the man himself.

To my most coveted, Rachel.
Please assure yourself, this absence from you has only strengthened my desires, and if my travels were not unavoidable in their necessity, I would not willingly deny myself your presence.
It is with great pride I soon hope to share you with my dearest and oldest friends. Please make yourself presentable. We will greet them together, in three days’ time.
I am now, as at all times, your most devoted, Gräfen.

I slowly folded the letter in shaking hands.

Share me?

As in a snack?

In three days?

A sheen of sweat dampened my forehead. What was I doing lying here, slipping in and out of dreamland? When had I become so complacent? I only had three days to get out of Dodge.

Want to see more research for my Vampire Gothic series? Or do you want to just skip to reading this “enthralling”, “gut-wrenching” gothic? Go to


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